One of the most enjoyable parts of writing for a site like Fangraphs is “hearing” the banter between writers behind the scenes. After news broke of the Pittsburgh-San Francisco deal that saw second baseman Freddy Sanchez head from the Pirates to the Giants, these comments were made from some of Fangraphs’ finest:
“What the hell?”
“My lord, Sabean, what are you doing?”
Just when you thought it was safe to love San Francisco prospects again, general manager Brian Sabean tossed away the club’s second best pitching prospect for an injury-prone, veteran second baseman in his free agent year (although he has an $8 million option that is way too high). Oh, and the Giants organization just gave away its third best pitching prospect (Scott Barnes) to the Indians for a league-average first baseman. Madison Bumgarner is suddenly very, very lonely.
Alderson is just 20 years old and he’s holding his own in double-A. The 6’6′ right-hander also has above-average command and control for his age. He can throw in the low-90s and has a plus curveball and a developing changeup. In 13 double-A starts, Alderson allowed 76 hits in 72.2 innings of work, while posting a walk rate of just 1.73 BB/9 and a strikeout rate of 5.70 K/9 (which will no doubt rise as he gains experience). The 22nd pick of the 2007 draft had hit a rough patch lately with three straight “meh” starts, but, again, he’s 20 years old and pitching in double-A with exceptional command and control for his age.
Sanchez is currently hitting .296/.334/.442 with six homers and five stolen bases in 355 at-bats. The 31-year-old could slot into the No. 2 hole in the lineup for San Francisco. Defensively, he plays a solid but unspectacular second base, which will help fill a season-long hole for the Giants. Sanchez definitely has an edge on defense, but is his offense really that much better than current second baseman Juan Uribe‘s triple-slash line of .284/.314/.431? Is the slight offensive edge plus Sanchez’ glove really worth Alderson?
Sanchez is a nice complementary player, but he definitely should not have cost an A-level pitching prospect. In five years, this (panic?) trade is going to hurt.
P.S. The Pirates just got more value for Sanchez than Ricciardi could drum up for Halladay. That has to burn.